Re: Waterfront site picked for new events centre, Jan. 26
The current majority of Nanaimo city council, dominated by several with clear conflicts of interest, has clearly forgotten a fundamental truth: people hate having their hard-earned tax money wasted on frills and extravagances. Witness the proposed hockey palace, euphemistically called an ‘events centre’ to mislead voters into thinking it is a more practical multiple-use facility than it really is.
The council majority has either not attempted or been successful in convincing any partners to contribute. No federal funding support. No provincial funding support. No private funding support. They are prepared to put the entire excessive cost solely on the backs of local taxpayers.
They show a lack of responsibility to so frivolously spend “other peoples’ money.” Has anyone at city hall even asked whether such a facility can be financially viable with a population of fewer than 250,000 within a 30-kilometre radius?
It is unlikely any responsible person would pay their own personal money in this project. Given its continuing inability to manage its own affairs, the current council has little credibility to manage such a large project. Its failure to consult the Nanaimo Port Authority and Snuneymuxw First Nation on the waterfront lands, as required by the tripartite agreement I negotiated, shows a blatant lack of due process and disrespect for our neighbours.
Failure to coordinate with long-term facility needs of Vancouver Island University is impossible to understand.
The waterfront location violates several Plan Nanaimo-based principles of our Nanaimo Official Community Plan.
To claim that the proposed $80 million or more debt will not affect taxes is preposterous. Anyone with a mortgage knows you have to pay the lender with real money. In this case, massive amounts of taxpayers’ money for decades. When we cannot keep our roads, bridges, existing facilities and parks in good condition the mere thought of an $80 million or more hockey palace cost and debt is the wrong use of hard-earned tax money. A small fraction of this sum could help with our existing eroding infrastructure, a real priority with economic benefit.